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DITROFF(7)             Miscellaneous Information Manual             DITROFF(7)

       ditroff - classical device independent roff

       The name ditroff once marked a development level of the troff text pro-
       cessing system.  In actual roff(7) systems, the name troff is used as a
       synonym for ditroff.

       The  first  roff system was written by Joe Osanna around 1973.  It sup-
       ported only two output devices, the nroff program  produced  text  ori-
       ented  tty  output,  while the troff program generated graphical output
       for exactly one output device, the Wang Graphic Systems CAT typesetter.

       In 1979, Brian Kernighan rewrote troff to support more devices by  cre-
       ating  an  intermediate  output  format  for troff that can be fed into
       postprocessor programs which actually do the printout  on  the  device.
       Kernighan's  version  marks what is known as classical troff today.  In
       order to distinguish it from Osanna's original mono-device version,  it
       was  called  ditroff (device independent troff) on some systems, though
       this naming isn't mentioned in the classical documentation.

       Today, any existing roff system is based  on  Kernighan's  multi-device
       troff.   The  distinction between troff and ditroff isn't necessary any
       longer, for each modern troff provides already the complete functional-
       ity  of  ditroff.   On  most  systems, the name troff is used to denote

       The easiest way to use ditroff is the  GNU  roff  system,  groff.   The
       groff(1)  program is a wrapper around (di)troff that automatically han-
       dles postprocessing.

       [CSTR #54]
              The 1992 revision of the Nroff/Troff  User's  Manual  by  J.  F.
              Osanna and Brian Kernighan, see
              Bell Labs CSTR #54 <http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr/

       [CSTR #97]
              A Typesetter-independent TROFF by Brian Kernighan is the  origi-
              nal documentation of the first multi-device troff (ditroff), see
              Bell Labs CSTR #97 <http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr/

              This document gives details on the history and concepts of roff.

              The actual implementation of ditroff.

              The GNU roff program and pointers to  all  documentation  around

              The groff version of the intermediate output language, the basis
              for multi-devicing.

       Copyright (C) 2001, 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Docu-
       mentation  License)  version  1.1 or later.  You should have received a
       copy of the FDL on your system, it is also available on-line at the GNU
       copyleft site <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html>;.

       This  document  is  part  of  groff, the GNU roff distribution.  It was
       written by Bernd Warken <bwarkenATmayn.de> and is maintained  by  Werner
       Lemberg <wlATgnu.org>.

Groff Version 1.19              11 October 2002                     DITROFF(7)